I believe that the viewing of our dead is the single most important facet of funeral service and an integral part of the grieving process for individuals, families, and communities. Unfortunately, the education provided in the area of advanced restorative art and reconstructive embalming is all but extinct; most mortuary schools in the United States offer one or two semesters of restorative art in which students learn the basics of facial proportions, color theory and modeling-- with little to no lessons given on practical application or actual restoration/reconstruction of trauma or difficult cases. For generations, students of mortuary schools across the country have graduated and gone out to serve their communities without any further education in advanced methods.
Many seminars currently offered on this topic are nothing more than a sales pitch for products or events, exploiting and wasting your time and money. The result, over the decades, has been less and less embalmers that possess the confidence or skills to provide open casket viewings in cases of trauma; the closed casket has become the expectation for trauma cases for the public and professionals alike. I do not believe this is rooted in laziness, but rather, a lack of confidence that stems from the lack of education.
My philosophy is simple: provide the education that will instill the confidence. Confidence breeds action and action yields change.